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Can the plugs go beneath the surface?

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  • Can the plugs go beneath the surface?

    Hello. I had punctal plugs put in the lowers 11 years ago. Lately my eyes have been bothering me a lot and I had the sense that the punctal plugs were the cause of it. So I went to the doctor who originally put them in and when he looked at my eyes he claimed that the left one was gone. Then he pressed his finger in that area and I could feel it in there. I asked him if it's possible that it could have somehow got under the surface and he said no it's not possible because they have a "mushroom" head that prevents that from happening. Then he pressed on the other side and I could feel one too but higher up. When he pressed on the left tear duct he asked if it felt tender and it did. Then he asked about the right one and I said a little, but not much. Then he claimed "it looks like you're getting a chaizon" (sorry I don't know how to spell it) in the left eye. I don't believe it! I haven't seen anything like that and I had looked all around my eye lids with a magnifying glass before going to the appointment. What I think happened is that when he originally put them in, he pushed the plug too far and it ended up below the surface and now it's stuck in there and I want it out. My question is whether there's any way to tell for sure that it's still in there. I have a hard time believing that it fell out because I had him take the right one out (despite smelling alcohol on his breath!) and it was difficult to remove and I felt it pop out after he tugged it. I don't believe one of these could just fall out. They have been in there 11 years. I'm at my wits end with the dry eyes. I want new plugs because I use a CPAP machine at night and all this started with the CPAP, the air travels up through the drain that's connected to my nose and dries my eyes out. The plugs helped that. I can't sleep without it because I have very severe apnea. Please, do you know if there is a non-invasive way to tell if the plug is still in there??? Obviously I'm going to find another doctor, no way I'd go back to an eye doctor that smells like whiskey.

  • #2
    I had the same problem. One plug that I had in for 10 years suddenly disappeared. When the doc tried to place another one there, it would not go in, no matter how hard he pushed and what size he tried. He sent me to a specialist who said that as long as it does not get infected, leave it wherever it is. He did not want to cut open my tear duct to see if the plug was indeed there. Since I really wanted another plug, the new ophthalmologist I found tried to place one in the upper duct. It was too uncomfortable so she took it out 4 days later. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any way to determine if a plug has migrated. They don't show up on x-ray is what I have been told.